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Restaurateurs seeking to maximize revenues should look carefully at how long their tables are occupied and at how much the average diner spends. This study examines two aspects of the restaurant environment - table type and table location - to determine whether the placement or configuration of a dining table (in particular, whether it has an architectural anchor) has measurable effects on duration and average check, which were combined to show average spending per minute (SPM). An analysis of more than fourteen hundred meal transactions at a 210-seat, casual Mexican-style restaurant found that the SPM for parties at booths was slightly higher than average, while the SPM for diners at banquette tables was below the average. Ironically, tables in poor locations in the dining room generated SPM values higher than supposedly good tables. These findings suggest that restaurant designers reexamine the use of banquettes and not be overly concerned about "bad" tables.


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